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Embracing Jesus 05/16/2008

A few days ago, Betty and I returned from the mission field in Central America. We were both physically exhausted. I am amazed at how much more difficult it is for us in our mid-60's than it was when we were younger. It has taken us several days to regain our strength. I suppose my heart may be more tender in these days because of age, but I would like to think it is also because I have become more sensitive to those things that matter most.

In Central America, we were examining their sources of drinking water. In some cases, families will dig holes two or three feet deep to reveal a small pool of water. It doesn't always look dirty. In fact, it looks better than the water in the streams where animals stand, people wash clothes and waste continually flows. But almost always, their drinking water is contaminated.

As we watched them dip water for cooking and drinking, I had the privilege of holding beautiful children who climbed into my lap. As I held them, it was so comforting. When I prayed for these precious little ones, I felt as if I was wrapping the arms of Jesus Christ around them. Our mission is to provide fresh water wells in their area, but at the same time, we show them the love and compassion of God.

Right after we returned, I was praying with our leadership team and thanking God for the effectiveness of our outreaches in third world countries. While I was recounting the scene, I felt in my spirit that Jesus himself said, "I am resting my head on your shoulder and you are embracing me with great love when you hold those little children."

I began to weep so deeply that I could barely voice the conclusion of my prayer of gratitude. Later, I began to think about what I had sensed in my spirit. The thought of holding needy children and comforting them with the love of God is enough to overwhelm me, but the notion that I was holding Jesus in my arms moved me beyond expression.

This manifestation of genuine love is something we have experienced many times. The Rwandan orphans crawled into my arms, even though they had been traumatized by the brutal slaughter of their parents. Suddenly, they overcame their fear of adults because they were attracted to the power of love they seemed to feel coming from me. The lonely, forgotten children of China, Bolivia, Romania and other countries flood my memory as I thank the Lord for bestowing upon me the blessing of sharing his compassion.

I recalled what Jesus said, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58) Of course, from a theological position we could easily say He was merely referring to a home or a place to rest, but is it possible that the One who knew we could grow weary in doing well might Himself have on occasion wished for a place to rest His head? We know that Jesus asked for water and received vinegar and gall while hanging on the cross. How many of us wish that we could have been there to give him clean, refreshing water? I know that I do.

Yet, this is what we do when we give people water all over the world and spare them the disease and death that comes from contaminated sources. As we do this, Jesus said we are in fact giving Him water, and I don't think I am overstating the very real possibility that when we hold others and share His love, we may in fact be giving Him a place to rest His head.

This is what I felt when I held these children. I believe you can feel it, too, when you reach out in any way possible to give to the One who asks so little while giving so much. Take care of those in need and you, too, can embrace Jesus.


Author: James Robison

Word Count: 686

About the author: James Robison is the founder and president of LIFE Outreach International, a Christian media ministry and mission relief organization. He and his wife, Betty, host of the television program Life Today; He has authored numerous books, including The Soul of a Nation, The Absolutes: Freedom's Only Hope and True Prosperity.

Media Contact: Randy Robison, editor at jamesrobison.net . Photo available upon request. Reprint rights granted with attribution for complete, unedited article. Revisions allowed only with approval.